This is a durable, rugged steel/aluminium composite catamaran built for the rough and tumble of tourist excursions on China’s very busy Pearl River. CoCo Yachts is usually more associated with the latest in catamaran fast ferries of which there are examples practically worldwide. This very impressive ship attests to the Dutch design firm’s versatility.
“Dawanqu No 2 and its earlier sister Dawanqu No 1 are the first vessels of their kind ever built in China,” CoCo Yachts told Baird Maritime. “Key attributes include the very low noise and vibration levels when running on diesel-electric mode while almost no noise is generated when running in full electric mode.”
Despite the regular communication CoCo Yachts had with the China Classification Society and the country’s Maritime Safety Administration, there were some challenges due to the fact that these are the first seagoing passenger catamarans to be classed by either organisation. The designer nonetheless said that cooperation proceeded well and the end result was satisfactory.
The inclusion of diesel-electric propulsion on Dawanqu No 2 was decided after CoCo Yachts identified the growing importance of low-emission propulsion. The company, however, is also quick to realise that the transition from more conventional propulsion systems will not be as easy.
“The zero emission trends make things a bit complicated. Batteries are nice, but heavy and expensive. The rules on how to place them and on how to ensure safety are changing. We feel this part makes it more difficult for designers, builders, and even owners to comply with requirements in the best possible way.”
The designer added that the year 2021 proved difficult, but not too difficult, as evidenced by a succession of new projects as well as older ones that were previously set aside. Specifically, some postponed projects went back into the pipeline and even materialised, making the prospects of the coming year look more promising.
“The main trends we see are reduced emissions and lower noise levels,” CoCo Yachts told Baird Maritime when asked if there were any key developments that are driving the passenger vessel newbuilding industry. “For medium speed ferries and cruise vessels, this is not an issue, but for high speed vessels, achieving lower noise levels is a real challenge.
“There is also the question of how to overcome added weight? The same applies for SCR systems. It’s nice to have fewer emissions, but incorporating an SCR system means you will have increases in both weight and size, and so the challenge lies in identifying where such a system can be fitted on board.”
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